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Death penalty tossed in killing of rocker's mom

Monday - 7/16/2012, 1:50pm  ET

By PAUL ELIAS
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California Supreme Court has tossed out the death sentence for a man convicted of killing rock guitarist Dave Navarro's mother and her friend nearly 30 years ago.

The justices said Monday the trial judge hearing the case against John Riccardi improperly dismissed a prospective juror because of her conflicting death penalty views.

The court said the judge was required to ask if the potential juror could still impose the death sentence despite her views.

The unanimous ruling upheld Riccardi's murder conviction.

Scott Peterson and a few other California death row inmates are appealing on similar grounds as Riccardi, who was arrested eight years after the killings when "America's Most Wanted" aired a segment on the 1983 crime.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)